• July 14, 2024

Japan health council worries Summer COVID-19 instances may surge 2023

At a meeting on June 16, the coronavirus expert council of the Japanese health ministry predicted an increase in infections during the summer.

The COVID-19 Advisory Board of the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare convened its first meeting since COVID-19 was downgraded to Class 5 under Japan’s infectious disease control law on May 8.

The board stated that coronavirus cases “have been gradually increasing since early April, and based on past observations, infections may spread to some degree over the summer.”

The number of COVID-19 patients reported for fixed-point observation by approximately 5,000 medical institutions in Japan between June 5 and June 11 was 5.11 per institution, a 1.9-fold increase compared to the week following the downgrade of COVID-19.

18,048 Japanese 16–69-year-olds provided blood samples for the study.

The increase was especially notable in Okinawa Prefecture, where 18,41 cases per institution were reported from 5 to 11 June.

“It is likely that the upward trend will persist for some time. Following the meeting, Takaji Wakita, chairman of the advisory board and director of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Japan, stated at a press conference that vaccination of the elderly and those with underlying health conditions must be encouraged.

On the same day, the Ministry of Health released preliminary survey results indicating that 42.8% of former COVID-19 patients examined between May 17 and May 31 had post-infection antibodies. This was nearly identical to the 42.0% found in the previous survey conducted in February, although older participants tended to have lower antibody rates.

Wakita explained, “This suggests that the spread of infections since February has been minimal.” It is plausible that immunity has diminished over time.”

Leave a Reply